Global Briefing: Bosom Buddies and the Same Old Bad Guys

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Anglo Unity: Fresh from his late Monday night arrival in Ireland, President Obama meets U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in London today, as the White House steps up its efforts to rekindle the much-touted “special relationship” between the across-the-pond allies. As Catherine Mayer writes, they do have a lot to discuss.

Bursting the post-Osama Bubble: The daring Taliban raid on a Pakistani naval base in Karachi reminded everyone of the fragility of Pakistan’s security situation and the confidence of the Taliban militants still thriving in the troubled South Asian nation. On the ground at the scene of the attack, Omar Waraich looks into the emerging details of the attack, and wonders whether it was an inside job. On Global Spin, Beijing correspondent Austin Ramzy examines the implications of the raid for the U.S. and China, two powers that both had interests (and workers) in this naval base.

Speaking Power to Truth?: In a must read piece for the blog of the New York Review, the peerless David Bromwich parses the rhetoric of President Obama’s speeches vis a vis the uprisings in the Arab world and the need for Israeli-Palestinian piece, and finds Obama’s oratory wanting: “It confined itself to a safe and irreproachable generality.”

Fear and Trembling in Damascus:Our correspondent in Damascus — not named for security reasons — writes of a town crawling with secret police, state informants and mobs of pro-government armed thugs. There’s an illusion of calm as protesters keep dying week after week in cities elsewhere in the country. “From overseas,” writes our correspondent, “Syria is the very model of tyrannical repression.”

Democracy, One Way or the Other: Emirati columnist Abdulkhaleq Abdullah writes a brave piece excoriating the kingdoms of the Gulf for their brutal, albeit largely successful, quashing of democracy movements in these oil-rich, sheikh-governed states, which had hoped to resolve grievances either with swift crackdowns or by dipping into their vast coffers. But it’s too little, too late: “That margin of comfort is eroding fast. After decades of political stagnation forces of change are finally challenging the status quo.”

Tarzan of the Casbah: In Algiers—a capital where hopes of the Arab Spring seem to have fizzled out—a BBC correspondent encounters a surprising fascination with the swaggering, shirtless Tarzan and an irrepressible love of English football.

A Gold Rush, Chinese Style: Through our partnership with news translation site Worldcrunch, here’s an article from Le Monde about the rush for resources in China’s restive far West region of Xinjiang.